The Gunners host West Bromwich Albion on Monday evening in what is sure to be a must win game after seeing all our so called ‘top 6 rivals’ win their respective fixtures.During the midweek we featured in the Carabao Cup against Doncaster Rovers in a 1-0 victory with a team having 11 changes from the game against Chelsea leaving most of our first team regulars well rested and refreshed ahead of mondays fixture against West Brom Our squad on wednesday say players like Per Mertesacker, Jack Wilshere, Calum Chambers and Theo Walcott featuring which basically means there’s no chance of seeing these players starting the game on monday. Now Arsenal face one of the most trickiest fixtures at the Emirates stadium : hosting West Bromwich Albion led by Tony Pulis. We are all aware of the history that we have with teams managed by Tony Pulis, we know what to expect from them and even though they can be infuriatingly stubborn to break down quite occasionally we really need to do so to get the hugely invaluable three points from them. Languishing in the 12th position and 9 points behind those Manchester Clubs, the incoming run of Premier League fixtures ahead of us present us with a glorious opportunity to jet off on a winning run and bridge that gap as much as possible. Ahead of the fixture the manager does face having to make a number of selection decisions in order to select the best team capable of unlocking a defence which has so far kept 3 clean sheets from 5 games.
Here we take a look at how the team can line up against West Brom to provide us with the best chance of getting three points against them :
Goalkeeper : Petr CechDavid Ospina featured during the midweek so Petr Cech will return for the League match. Quite a simple understanding.
Defence : Nacho Monreal, Laurent Koscielny, Skhodran MustafiNo risks there, perfect back three and quite frankly a very formidable back line on paper and now they need to keep showing that out on the pitch too. Against Chelsea last time out these three were positionally disciplined, played as a collective and cohesive unit with one another, and marshalled a dangerous Chelsea attack with great commitment and decisiveness. Keeping Chelsea out and snatching a clean sheet away from home is pretty good but they need to start doing that consistently each and every week starting with West Brom on monday.
Wingback : Hector Bellerin and Saed KolasinacBoth Bellerin and Kolasinac have both risen to the role during the last couple of games. With every passing match day Kolasinac is beginning to seem more and more of an absolute bargain than anyone choose to believe at first. Ever since Chamberlain has been stopped being shoehorned into the side, both the wingbacks seem to be functioning really brightly and against a defensive minded Tony Pulis managed West Brom team a lot of the onus will be on them to provide the attacking width in the final third.
Central Midfield : Granit Xhaka and Aaron RamseyLike pretty much the rest of the team these two are the fairly obvious starters when it comes to the centre of the park. After an horrendous outing against Liverpool, both are gradually starting to look like the commanding midfield anchors that Wenger wants them to be. With Wenger himself praising Ramsey’s contribution at Stamford Bridge for his excellent disciplined and commanding performance, the onus is on him now to replicate this performance every week and better himself as the season wears on without succumbing to an injury. Arsenal are clearly expected to dominate possession against a Tony Pulis side at the Emirates which means our midfield duo with be awarded enough chances to orchestrate the play quite beautiful. Both will have enough of the ball and it on them to perfectly provide the foundation for each and every attacking play that the team makes. Consistency is very much the key here for both of them.
Attack : Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre LacazetteFor the first time this season Thanks to Danny Welback and his groin we get to see the trio of Sanchez, Lacazette and Ozil all together starting up front for the first time in a game this season. Arsenal will still need to do a late check on Mesut Ozil after his knee inflammation kept him out last time against Chelsea but we pretty much expect him to start vs West Brom in any case. Sanchez might be a bit enervated after playing the full 90 mins against Doncaster in a bid to regain his match fitness and competitiveness. However in the absence of Welback the boss will look to Sanchez to start and knowing him he is not one to tire out on the field due to excessive football. So far it has always been lacazette on for Sanchez or visa versa but never since we have signed our record signing have we been able to see the trio together on the pitch at the same time and now with Welback out of the equation I am really really looking forward to seeing them work their magic together for our club. Check out the team news and injury update for both Arsenal and West Brom here |
Probable team sheet Arsenal vs West Brom :